Connecting seniors with community is often a challenge in affordable housing. But that wasn’t the case with Parkview Place, which was built into an existing YMCA in Anderson, Ind.

Three levels of the old YMCA building were once designed to become racquetball courts, but when that plan fell through, the space sat vacant for several years.

Developers Episcopal Retirement Homes Affordable Living and The Model Group saw the Y as the perfect place to build a new senior community that would offer health, wellness, and social services to low-income seniors.

The 30-unit community connects residents, ages 55 and up, with resources and other community members by creating an interactive environment right in their own building. Each unit is subsidized with Anderson Housing Authority Vouchers, allowing the community to serve residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income. Additionally, the location allows residents to be within walking distance of a grocery store, pharmacy, several restaurants, a park, and a public library.

The community was designed to offer 10 unit styles so that all of the space could be effectively utilized. Additionally, the developers found that the floors had been cut to accommodate proposed sport flooring but were never finished, posing a significant challenge in leveling the floors for residential usage. But the architects and developers were able to work around the flooring problem and make 26 of the units fully accessible.

Parkview Place's approach to housing generated much community support and excitement, with the project 90% leased in less than three months. The $6.3 million project’s financing included low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, HOME funds, and Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds.